I've been rereading the reviews since I got back from Barcelona to see if they are rigged, but they seem legitimate. As a reasonably seasoned traveler in Europe, I am puzzled to see anyone rate this hotel with five stars. It is an okay hotel, but the TripAdvisor aggregate is out of whack.
The location is excellent if you like the El Born district. You can walk to the Gothic District and La Rambla very easily, and right nearby are many restaurants, the Picasso Museum, and the Park Cuitadella. We did walk to Sagrada Familia, but it is quite a long walk. It is not nearby Placa Catalunya, which is about a mile away. Walkable, but not nearby, as some people describe. You would not want to walk from there with your luggage. That's just wrong. (We took a shared-ride shuttle from the airport, which was door-to-door, and it costs less than a taxi.)
As far as the hotel goes, it was bare bones. Our room was one of the smaller ones, to be sure, but there were no frills at all, unless you think hot water and soap are frills. No clock, no coffee maker, no paintings, one pillow per person. Small window with no view. The TV didn't work, the heat controls didn't work, the drain in the bathroom sink was slow. I didn't complain--we wouldn't have watched TV, and I just opened a window from the excessive heat. (None of this made me particularly unhappy, but compared to a five-star review, these are factors that would make it not earn that rating.)
There was wireless throughout the hotel and a computer/printer center. There was also bottled water available for no extra charge. The breakfast for 12 euros was average. I have had hotel breakfast buffets in Europe--Paris, Stockholm, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg--that were much, much (much!) better than this one, and the attendant in the restaurant was not very helpful, so again, I'm puzzled when people raved about this breakfast. If you are lucky and are there when there are the Catalan omelets, these are good, but they were only there one of the two times I ate there. (You can get bacon and eggs cooked to order.) Otherwise, it is unexceptional: two cheeses, two hams, croissant, yogurt and granola, melon, juice, coffee, some breads and jams.
The rooms are quite quiet, so you can sleep well. I didn't mind the hard beds, and these may be typical for Spain. There was a safe in the room.
The help at the desk was generally helpful, although their recommendations for restaurants were not good (one to a very Americanized place and the other to a bar that was closed), so we stopped asking. They booked us tickets to the Flamenco dancers and were friendly and helpful with this request. No one in Barcelona seems to know that the best way to get to Montjuc from this area is to take the 55 bus from Arc de Triomphe or one of the other stops nearby, and I offered this info to the receptionist. (Google maps knew it better than any local!)
It was clean and tidy but hardly impeccable. Would I stay here again? For the price ($115/night) and location, I just might. But be aware that the 4 to 4.5 stars you are seeing on TripAdvisor are quite subjective from what seems like a very naive set of travelers. My son felt this deserved two stars in TripAdvisor, but I think taking all factors into account, it was average.
Please see photos for smudged walls, broken mirror, and teeny sitting area. (As I mentioned, this was a very small room--others had a better sitting area that included a desk.)
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- Also Known As:
- Ciutat Hotel Barcelona
- Ciutat Barcelona
- Hotel Ciutat De Barcelona Catalonia